Recently I ran in a marathon. Specifically, I ran a leg of the Detroit Free Press Marathon, but without help from a team of friends and family I probably wouldn’t have ever attempted this seemingly impossible feat.
I run, but not much and not gracefully. It’s a health obligation and I don’t enjoy it much. It’s no coincidence that runners smile when they finish running, not while running.
In February, my daughters Emily and Caroline convinced me that Caster Concepts Inc. should sponsor a Detroit Free Press Marathon relay team. Unfortunately, I was to be the team anchor and run the last 4.4 mile leg. I agreed – without committing to run the entire distance. Fortunately, there are always people walking in marathons, and I was perfectly fine filling that role.
So, on a chilly, misty Sunday, we tackled our 26.2 miles. My daughter-in-law Stephanie and my daughter Emily started us off, running 6.2 miles and 6 miles respectively. Emily passed the baton to my daughter Caroline, who ran 6.7 miles, and then it was my son-in-law, Joe Verbeke’s turn. He ran 2.9 miles while Caroline (the real runner in the family), ran along for encouragement.
They rounded Belle Isle and then my turn came. Despite the chill, I stepped out of my sweats and began to run on the white, washed-up legs of a former football player. But, I was excited! With Caroline running beside me, we crossed the bridge to East Jefferson, then along the river and toward downtown. The time flew!
There I was, running the anchor leg of a marathon beside my youngest daughter, and people lined the streets shouting encouragement, waving signs, beating pans and ringing bells, while a DJ thumped music. Caroline gave me a last “good job Dad!” and I crossed the finished line alone as flashbulbs popped and my team and my granddaughter Molly cheered.
I smiled as I’d seen other runners smile when they finish. I may have even smiled a bit during the run. I felt as good as if I’d gone the entire 26.2 miles.
Teamwork and trust: They’re very good words by which to live and work.
Thank you for reading. I invite your comments about teamwork in your personal and business life.
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